June 25, 2009

(4/11/-1918 - 6/19/2009)

A former Schuyler County resident, Lois L. Cook, passed away early Friday morning, June 19, 2009, at Bryant House care facility in Maple Plain, Minnesota, where she had been a resident for about two years. She was 91 years, two months, and eight days old.

Lois Laverne Harbert was born April 11, 1918, in Goodland, Sherman County, Kansas, to Lawrence Beaty and Nina Mae Taylor Harbert. Her parents would move to Evergreen, Colorado, and Lois’s great love for that state never dimmed. She graduated from Evergreen High School and worked as a telephone operator in that little mountain telephone central office, proud to recall she knew many families’ connections by heart. She was a member of the Evergreen Christian Church.

On a trip back to Queen City, Missouri, to visit her father’s relatives, she and a Snowbarger cousin came into Downing one day and at the Morgan Oil station there she met a local Schuyler County son, Bob Cook. It was love at first sight and their courtship stood the test of time for the next few years.

Harlie H. “Bob” Cook joined the service prior to our country’s entry into WWII and would come to be stationed outside Olympia, Washington; and Lois would make a trip by train to the Northwest to be at Bob’s side then before he would be sent to areas around the Mediterranean following America’s declaration of war against Japan and the Axis powers. Photos abound. Bob would keep in touch with family at home and share many letters with his beloved Lois who was then working in Keokuk, Iowa, at Pittsburg Paint.

After his years serving in the military, Bob returned home safely and he and Lois were married August 26, 1945, in Queen City.

Bob would take his loving wife back to Colorado to be nearby her family and he would begin work at Mountain Bell Telephone Company in Denver, Colorado, where he was an engineer working with the company’s heating and cooling systems. And Lois made their home in Denver, which was always lovingly, and generously open to family vacationers. Their home would reverberate with the sounds of fun, laughter, and games.

Born to this union were three children: Larry, Terry, and Karla.

Lois is the last of her generation in Downing’s very large Cook Family and many nephews and nieces of two generations will miss her warm, calm, loving spirit.

Her father in 1973; mother in 1993, herself in her ninety-ninth year; her brother Donald in 1988; and a niece Donna Lee Harbert in 2004 preceded Lois in death. And Lois attended in Lancaster, Missouri, in 2005, the funeral of her father’s cousin Hilda Harbert who was in her ninety-ninth year, a former schoolteacher to many in Schuyler County. Longevity and family filled Lois’s life.

Her greatest loss was her beloved husband. Bob died December 28, 1971, after only twenty-six years of marriage. She missed him greatly but had the ongoing love and support of her children and her extended family. Lois moved from her beloved Colorado to locate near her daughter in northeast Missouri, where she came to live in Downing before 1989.

Surviving Lois are her three children: Larry (Linda) Cook of Plymouth, Minnesota; Terry (Sharon) Cook of Springfield, Missouri; and Karla (Roy) Clem of Sterrett/Birmingham, Alabama; five grandchildren: Laura (Kyle) Mabry of Saint Joseph, Illinois; Carrie (Scott) Lavold of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nathan (Amber) Cook of Springfield, Missouri; Jeremiah (Kotie) Clem of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Mandy (Drew) Golightly of McCalla/Birmingham, Alabama; and two step grandchildren: Danylle (Dan) Williams; and Chad Echols of the Minneapolis area.

As well, Lois was proud of her six young great-grandchildren: Carter and Chase Mabry; Max Lavold; Hailey and Sara Clem; and Grace Golightly; and Lois knew of the expected birth this year of a step great-grandchild. She was surrounded indeed by family love. A great and good long life, Lois will be greatly missed.

Visitation was Tuesday, 23 June, 5:00-7:00 PM at Crown Hill Chapel, Wadsworth Boulevard, Wheat Ridge/Denver, Colorado; and the graveside service and interment were held in Crown Hill Cemetery, Wheat Ridge, Wednesday, 24 June, 11:00 AM, where Lois was laid to rest beside her beloved husband.

It is suggested that your memorial may be given to McCreery Cancer Center, Ottumwa Regional Health Center, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, Ottumwa, Iowa 52501.

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